How Do High Efficiency Wood Burning Stoves Work?

With rising energy costs and pollution, using a high-efficiency wood burning stove seems sensible. They are a stand-alone type of stove that burns wood and directs the resulting smoke fumes via chimney conduit pipe. The high-efficiency wood stove operates without any electrical source yet is efficient enough to heat whole areas of a home. Also, this stove produces little to no pollution at all, making it an eco-friendly system, as opposed to older models of wood burning stoves.

Now, how do these new wood burning stoves work? The process begins when the stove uses its specially designed air flow structure to burn wood at intense temperatures inside insulated enclosures. This heated plenum produces virtually no toxic waste or smoke at all; the volatile organic gases are instead converted into energy to be used in producing heat.

Currently, there are two different designs of high-efficiency wood burning stoves in wide use.

The first is the advanced combustion wood stove . Also called the secondary burn stove, this type of high-efficiency stove burns the wood in one enclosure and combustible smoke in another at high temperatures, which can often reach 1100 degrees Fahrenheit. A unique feature of the advanced combustion stove is decreased residue on the glass door in front of the fire.

The second type is the catalytic wood stove . Using catalytic combusters, not converters, the catalytic stove incinerates the smoke from the fire at lower temperatures. This type of secondary burning is more efficient than advanced combustion wood stoves. However, they are more expensive. The catalytic combusters break down due to wear and tear over time, which lowers the energy output; at least until the combuster is replaced.

There are many pros to installing a high -efficiency wood burner at home. First, it is powerful enough to heat the entire premises. Second, it uses one-third of the firewood of older models. Third, technologically advanced stoves need no electricity to operate; therefore they can still be used during power outages. Lastly, with the exception of the catalytic combuster, the other parts do not wear out easily or quickly.

There are also some disadvantages to having one of these advanced wood burning stoves.

1. A homeowner should only use the recommended type of wood for the stove.
2. Since the stove's system is more complex than a traditional stove, only a professional should install the system.
3. The firebox sections should be regularly cleaned and maintained, and since it is a complex system, cleaning the entire unit may take longer to finish.
4. These stoves sometimes need de-humidifiers to work at peak efficiency, which causes the surrounding air to become dryer.